Chemicals to breed us dry
CHEMICALS found in foods, cosmetics, cleaning products and plastic containers could be reducing our fertility.
New research from Dr Mark Green, a Melbourne University senior lecturer in reproductive biology, has reviewed how common chemicals known as “endocrine disrupting chemicals” affect fertility in women and men.
And he said considering the containers we use to store and heat food is almost as important as what you are eat. “You can get these chemical exposures from multiple sources, in anything from food stuffs to the way you are heating those in a microwave or ovens,” Dr Green said.
The three main chemical categories to avoid are parabens, common preservatives in cosmetics; phthalates, which make plastic flexible; and BPAs, another plastic ingredient used in the linings of food cans.
“Household sprays and chemicals for cleaning the bathroom, shampoo and conditioner all have parabens, and people may not know much of the absorption of chemicals can come not from eating or drinking but also from exposure through the skin of these or from cosmetics,” Dr Green said.
Commonly handled items, such as printed cashier’s receipts, often have a thermal coating “absolutely covered in” BPAs, he said, and plastic water bottles allowed to heat in cars before cooling again and being drunk can expose people to “leached” BPAs.
Counsellor Emily Hunter and husband Michael Sier (pictured) are planning to start a family and, having read Dr Green’s guidelines, have made changes to their lifestyle.
“It was a wakeup call,” Ms Hunter said.